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Latvia: New Era Party Announces Coalition Deal

Riga, 4 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Latvia's election-leading New Era party said today that it has negotiated a four-party center-right coalition deal to lead the country into the European Union and implement Western-style economic reforms. The New Era party, led by former central bank chief Einars Repse, is being joined in the coalition by the Latvia First Party of Christian democrats, the centrist Union of Greens and Farmers, and the right-wing For the Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK.

By joining together, the coalition will control 55 seats in the 100-member parliament. The legislature is due to meet tomorrow for its first session since last month's general election.

The coalition deal was reached after a month of tough bargaining between the four parties over key positions in the government.